Culture of the Seminole Tribe of Florida


Seminole society is built around eight clans—Panther, Bird, Wind, Bear, Deer, Big Town (Toad), Snake, and Otter. Children are members of their mother’s clan. Seminoles consider everyone inside the same clan to be family (aunts, uncles, cousins, etc.) and therefore they must marry outside of their clan. No clans are considered more important than each other, although some Seminoles believe that certain clans have different strengths or provide different natural attributes to its members. Today, because of marriages to non-Seminoles or non-clanned women, not all citizens of the Seminole Tribe are members of a clan. To be a member of the STOF, you must be at least one-quarter Seminole.


Today, the members of the Seminole Tribe speak one or more of three languages: Mikisúkî, Maskókî, and English. Maskókî, erroneously called "Creek" by English speakers, is spoken in Florida as well as in Oklahoma. However, Mikisukî is spoken in only one place on earth: South Florida, by the members of the Seminole and Miccosukee Tribes. Both Maskókî and Mikisúkî are taught in the schools operated by the Seminole Tribe of Florida and the Miccosukee Tribe of Indians of Florida.